When it comes to watching an offshore powerboat race, a helicopter is tough to beat. But there are two inherent problems with helicopters as viewing platforms. First, they’re frightfully expensive to keep in the air. Second, they don’t offer space for more than a few spectators.
Judging from the crowd on the cruiser behind Miss GEICO during last Sunday’s Sarasota, Fla. event, more than a few people know where to find the best seats in the house for an offshore race. Photo courtesy copyright Jay Ncihols/Naples Image.
Land-based spectator areas such as “The Pier” in Key West, Fla., certainly have their advantages such as proximity to all manner of food and drink—brought to your table no less—but our first choice for viewing, short of a helicopter, is a yacht or cruiser. Being stationary on the water and as near to the course as is safely allowed puts the speeds of big-time offshore raceboats, such as Miss GEICO captured here captured by photographer Jay Nichols on its way to Unlimited-class Victory at last weekend’s Super Boat International Suncoast Sarasota Offshore Grand Prix (read the story) in perspective.
No doubt about it, these guys are moving.
The downside of viewing from the water? In most cases, you’re in for the racing day—there’s usually no getting off the boat. That said, it doesn’t look like anyone on the yacht behind Miss GEICO in this image wants to go anywhere.